Scientific Management

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Taylor’s Scientific Management theory illustrates that instead of using rule-of-thumb, managers should develop a science for each element of a man’s work. They scientifically select, train, teach and develop employees.( Frederick Winslow Taylor ,1911) Workers have to be fully cooperated “without asking questions or making suggestions”( Frederick Winslow Taylor ,1909,P87). However, in Mayo’s Human Relations Management workers and managers make decisions together and workers have certain degree of freedom of controlling their own job. Differences can also be seen in job design in two approaches, Taylor believes that work should be deskilled to the simplest parts that workers will do repetitive task, while Mayo’s principle is in the opposite way. He believes that it is important for workers to have various tasks in their work and also being able to see the finish products is motivational to workers. Furthermore, Taylorism claims that there is a scientific basis for incentive wage. (Fredrick W. Taylor, 1895) In contrast, Mayo states that work is a group activity. The communication between workers and management influences workers’ morale and productivity. The recognition, security and a sense of belonging also determine workers’ morale and productivity. ( Miller,D.,& Form,W.H,1964)

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Taylor’s scientific management still applies well in today’s management. Its theory of standardizing task; motivating workers through financial rewards; treating workers as interchangeable parts are widely used in nowadays’ management. For example, George Ritzer (2000) notes Taylor’s theory of “there is only one best way” has an application in the McDonalds’ fast food chain, “It told operators… precise cooking times for all products and temperature settings for all equipment”. Not only this, Taylor’s theory of deskilling was applied in Henry Ford’s faith in mass production. With Fordism, jobs are automated or broken down into unskilled or semi-skilled tasks. (Sean Priestley, 2005)...
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